tv Charlie Rose PBS September 21, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program, tonight we look at the new iphone 5 with david pogue, technology columnist for "the new york times" and john griewb whore writes the blog daring fireball. >> it looks kind of like an old iphone that has been run over with a steam roller, taller, thinner, flatter and lighter, so it is getting there, and yet what glows me, blows me away i have been writing for "the new york times" for 12 years and i know that this is going to look primitive, i mean, this is the cro-magnon iphone, we are like oh it is so thin, no, you can't roll it up yet so the funny thing is when you extrapolate from where we are now to five years from now they will be really amazing not just iphones but all of the units. >> rose: we continue this evening with jeffrey, the book of the oath, the obama white house and the supreme court. >> 17 chief justice, 44th president, two people who in some respects have a lot in common, born within six years of each other, both came of age in
the think area, both products of harvard law school and the hear extraordinary la law review but both of them, and both of them real students of the constitution. but that is where the similarities end because roberts coming from his very conservative background, very stable background, is a true conservative, and he believes that the constitution neeth to change the irony is one believes in change and one really believes in stability and it is roberts is the one who wants change. >> rose: we conclude this evening with karen elliott house, a pulitzer recipient for covering the middle east. >> on saudi arabia. >> so i think the country has problems, all of these problems of unemployment, wealth distribution, housing, poverty in a country that has got that much money, and those are not going to get better without some
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: the highly anticipated iphone 5 will be available to the public tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., it is thinner, longer and faster than previous models, more than 244 million i phones have been sold since the day whew in 2007, but apple's competition is growing, google, microsoft and samsung are all vying for shares in the mobile phone market, joining me now, david pogue, she technology columnist for "the new york times" and john gruber he writes the blog daring fireball, it
draws 5 million viewers per month, both have had the iphone for, iphone 5 for the past week and have had to share their insights and i am pleased to have them here, welcome, good to have you here. >> thank you. >> rose: so here it is. i have one too, by the way. but only for 30 minutes, and you have had this, is it different after working with it and living with it for a week, has any of the opinions that you had initially changed? >> no. >> rose: no. >> it has been improved in every possible way you can improve it, the sound, the picture, the camera, the speed, the internet speeds, the weight, the screen size, every way they could thing of to improve it they have but it is lots and lots and lots and nips and -- >> rose: is it significant or incremental? >> it adds up to significant but it is incremental, i mean there is no buying like now it takes speech recognition and now the yeeb is a retina display, finer than ever before, there is no buying new thing like that. and, you know, i am not sure, a,
there could be year after year after year, b, i am not sure how much of that stuff was steve jobs and that now what they are doing is a long-term -- >> rose: it is in the pipeline when he died? >> yes, but this may be one of the last ones. >> rose: okay. >> and i think the other thing too and i think apple definitely has it in mind when most people buy a new cellphone of any sort it is on a two-year contract and most people don't get a new one no matter what comes tout next year until that contract is over, and you compare this to the iphone from two years ago, and i think it is a really, really compelling no-brainer blows it away superior experience. you know, year over year it is nicer, i agree with david, exactly, but it is the two-year window where it really stands out as an upgrade. >> rose: one thing that is different you both have spoken to it, it doesn't connect the same way, connectivity or whatever they call that. >> no, sir, it does not. after 244 million phones and 400 million ipods, ipads and phones. >> rose: which shared all -- >> all the same. >> rose: all the same.
>> same connector charger, so every hotel you walk in, there is one of these and in the alarm clock to charge your phone, cars have the jack, chargers, external batteries, medical devices, none of them will work with this. so i am really annoyed because i have a speaker dock at my house, an alarm clock next to my bed and extra cable here and there and none of that will fit here without an adapter, that is fine, this has a lot of excellent, excellent qualities, this is the new jack you can insert it upside down or right side up, it is very strong, it clicks into place and yanks out easily and much sturdier, but the adapt tore use all of your old stuff is either $30 for this little plastic thing or $40, for a little piece of cable on it, it is crazy outrageous. >> rose: does the size make that much difference, the fact it is taller? >> i think so. i found -- .. i am a pain, my main phones for the last five years is i phones so i have
gotten used to the old size .. so my thumb has kind of like i know where it is. it took a couple of days to get used to it. >> rose: you wrote that, didn't you? >> it is like a windshield wiper where i felt my thumb couldn't quite get up to the top corner because of the way i held it but you get used it to, it is not radically bigger, if you look at a lot of the other phones -- >> rose: it is one morrow. >> one morrow of icons, it is one more listing of e-mail, maps are bigger, pictures, and something i didn't think about until i actually had a look, the keyboard is actually a little wilder now, so bigger for that. >> rose: that's good. >> and definitely superior for video, because listen all video these days is in a 16 to nine aspect ratio, that is the exact aspect ratio of this so you don't have to choose between zooming in on the picture to fill the screen, or letter boxing it to keep the aspect ratio of the original, it just fills the screen and that's it. you don't have to decide how buying should the video be. >> rose: and the quality of the camera? >> the quality of the camera is
amazing, i was sitting there one night literally at night with the old phone and new one, just moseying around and took the same picture of the dining room table with almost all of the lights out, and on this phone you could see it, see what color it was, and on the iphone 4 s just a dim shadow. >> rose: that makes a lot of difference. >> i actually did the same thing late at night and daytime a lot of photos looked pretty much the same, old phone, new phone and nighttime photo, the light, i honestly thought maybe i did something wrong anding to it would lights and took it in a different -- it looked like i took it in different lighting circumstances i honestly thought people won't believe this is a side by side comparison it is going to look like i turned a light on. >> rose: wh do you wish it had that it doesn't have? >> obviously voice recognition and those kind of things we are longing for and they haven't perfected them am i right? >> right. >> it is a good question, i guess i wish that it had what i would describe as two-day battery life, where i could
leave somewhere, put the full charge this morning and use it for two days straight, pretty much all day and it still have some energy left,. >> rose: you said this is on its way to being a bookmark you mean that thin. >> well, it looks kind of like an old iphone that has been run over by a steam roller, it is taller, thinner, flatter and lighter, so it is getting there and yet what blows me away, i have been writing for "the new york times" for 12 years, and i know that this is going to look primitive, i mean, this is the cro-magnon iphone, we are like oh it is so thin, no-no it is not you can't roll it up yet so the funny thing is when you extrapolate where we are now to the ones five years from thousand will be really amazing not just i phones but all of the -- >> rose: do you think answering david's question, is this, is this in a sense sort of the end of where steve set in motion, and we are now looking at whether his successsors can
carry on that kind of creativity and that kind of attention? >> or is this the beginning in a sense and you can say, look, the course is set, and he created a culture that will continue to turn out? >> i think in broad terms i think steve jobs had two gifts, and the first one was coming up with buying new things, like the first iphone, which was nothing like i said honestly we all expected an ipod that looked like an ipod with a click wheel and gave us this which blew us away and the second thing is this, like a dedication to iterating and refining year over year over year and making those buying new ideas, year over year over year, better, better, better, i don't think this is the end of the road for this idea. i think, you know, like david said i think three years from now we will have one that makes this one look fat and heavy. >> rose: yes. >> the question i think for
apple is, is apple going to have a next buying thing? it is not ing to be a new iphone. >> rose: is there room for some system beyond -- i have asked this before, beyond the baffle operating system and the android system? >> apple operating system. >> that is a great question. microsoft has the phone system and it is really kind of brilliant they were asked to come up with something that what android and the iphone does without mimicking the little icons on the plaque background, you know, the same old copy cat design and they did it. the phone has these buying piles that come together and each one is not just a button but as billboard, a dashboard that is showing you that information about the text you have, the e-mails you have waiting, what photos someone just sent you. it is beautiful, it is fast, the phones that run it are great, but nobody has one. it is the zoom story all over again. >> rose: oh, yeah. >> microsoft coming way late to the party, yes, coming up with a more polished, clever idea but
just getting no -- >> rose: the market was gone. >> the apps aren't there, they are just so many -- >> rose: android has caught up with the answer answer. >> .. 600,000 in the catalog, 700,000 for the iphone. >> rose: approximately. for a while there was a huge gap. >> we are sort of dancing around this buying question, should you get an iphone, and so, and i think this is a buying part of the answer is that iphone is polished and controlled, and limited choices but everything works really, really well, and android is all about choice, less control, and applegate keeps what apps you can have and actually have curators that say no you can't have porn you can't have this one it is buggy, an troid is whatever you want to put in here we will sell, so not 600,000 of the same quality apps. >> rose: ah. >> on the other hand android phones you can get much bigger screens and memory card to add storage and get this nfc chips
that lets you buy things by swiping a phone on a cash register and for choices. >> rose: competition, android, is there room for more? can microsoft get traction? >> i think it would be great for everybody, including even apple and let's just say -- samsung makes other phones but mostly android for them, in the long run if there was somebody like microsoft could get traction i think it would be better because that sort of competition keeps everybody on their toes and keeps everybody from resting on their lawyer reallies, but. >> lawyers, laurels, i think they are some of the best reviewed tech products in the recent histories .. that haven't caught on in the marketplace. >> rose: quality and market acceptance. >> yes, the critical acclaim, i would say they are critically acclaim, people really like them, i don't know, i think the worst thing anybody really says about window phones is there are not enough apps for them and kind of a chicken and egg
problem, there are not enough apps, developsn'tn't don'ted and people don't buy them because there are not enough apps. >> rose: the story too is just really, is mobile, that's the story, isn't it? >> i definitely think so. >> rose: the buying story today. >> i think so. my favorite story about the iphone i remember from the last year, i read a profile in the new yorker of clayton christensen. >> rose: oh, yeah. >> the ininvestigator dilemma guy. >> and talked about the life he wanted to live type of thing. >> yes, just as an aside he mentioned he got the iphone wrong because when it first shipped in 2007 he predicted it would be a failure because it was so expensive and that disruption tends to come from below, not from above, you know, maybe apple will sell some of them the their fans but not disrupt the industry and in hindsight he realized he was completely wrong, and it is because the iphone, and i think this is such a brilliant insight it is not really a phone, it is a little mini portable computer and what this thing did was disrupt the portable computer industry from below, only a
couple hundred bucks, and now all of a sudden all these things people used to need, a full laptop computer running windows or the mac os 10 to do e-mail, to read web pages, to watch video, everybody is doing them on these things. >> rose: what are your readers wanting to know? what is it they come to you for? >> >> that's a good question. >> i think they want to know what is good. what deserves their attention? there is only so much attention in every day, and they only have so much attention left over after their work and dealing with the family, so if you are going to intend some time noodling around with a new ap in the app store, which one is worth your time and not regret the 99 cents and the 20 minutes and i think that is also what facebook and amazon and google are all fighting over too is attention. >> rose: what do you think, david? what do your readers wants to know from you? >> i think it is that but more
than that, it is more than just an investment, these are style statements, they say something about you and people get deeply offended if you imprint, say, that there isn't good or the one you didn't buy is good, you cannot believe the hate mail from the apple fan boys who say, you didn't praise it enough, and from the apple haters who say, how dare you say anything good about it. i mean, it is a personal, deep psychological issue, because people are making a bet on something, they are making a bet that android is the winner or iphone is the winner and they are personally invested in it and they get really personally riled up if they hear the media saying the wrong thing about their choice. >> rose: someone was talking about the iphone and mobile said, you know, what can ignite -- what device can ignite the curiosity and interest of a ceo and a 13-year-old girl? it is the new iphone. >> it is true. that is true.
it is a really remarkable thing, isn't it. >> rose: yes. >> where do you think we will be using these? i mean, when you think about the world you think about it will change healthcare, i mean i have done this program so i know a little bit about this, it will change education, it will change how people handle their finances, it will change credit, every kind of device, i mean every kind of way you can think it will change this, in a sense, and what are the risks of all of this? >> it is to make those kind of disruptions, what is the risk? >> i know for me personally the risk is that it is the risk of spending less time dealing with other people face to face, right? like those -- or those rules that some people have they play the game they put their face down in the middle and hear this. >> they put their phone face down and the first one to pick it up. >> rose: pays for dinner. >> pays for the dinner.
>> rose: i knew that's where you are going. >> i think that mindset is the danger if more and more of our communication is going through these screens, then less of it is going the way that really, you know, resonates the most, which is face to face. >> rose: do you use this simply to text? i mean do you use the e-mail much from this or do you find yourself less and less using e-mail and more and more using twitter and texting? >> i do use twit ear lot more than cash -- i think twitter has replaced some things i used e-mail before but i find in is great for e-mail, for just going through new messages and if i can quick peck something out with my thumbs do it and be done with it and save the other ones for the end of the day. >> rose: do you also look at it as a new source now, because twitter is instant and real-time? >> absolutely, twitter is where news breaks these days, you know, 15 minutes, 45 minutes before the mainstream media, and just that point about the isolation, and the faces in the screen, i just would love to say to the parents and teachers of
the world that technology always scares us, i mean, tractors scared the farming industry when they came out. this is true, and the microwaves scared us and i am sure the wheel scared us and why can't you walk to the woolly mammoth skeleton like the rest of us, technology is always scary and trade-offs, yes, we are more isolated and yet the young people today, there is a survey in the nineties of college graduates what do you want your job, your career to bring you? the number one answer in the nineties was money. when they repeated the survey recently the number one answer was, i want to change the world, i want to fix something. >> rose: that is good news. >> i want to fix something that is wrong. so everything is a be blessing and curse and just tools and nothing has changed since the beginning of invention, new stuff is scary but somehow we find a way to use it in the right way. >> rose: thank you. great to meet you. >> thank you. >> rose: good to see you as always. back in a moment.
stay with us. >> rose: jeffrey tubin a staff writer at the new yorker mag steep and legal analyst for cnn and also writes best sell in other words his spare time, in 2007 he revealed the secret world supreme court in his critical acclaimed book the nine, his tale of the nation's final arbiter of constitutional law continues in this new book called the oath, the obama white house and the supreme court, it is an account of the ideological battle between a democratic president and conservative justices, i am pleased to have jeffrey tubin back at this table, welcome. >> hi, charlie. >> rose: it is an easy entry to things, but first of all, the title, why the oath? >> well a lot of people remember as i am sure you do the oath was botched on january 20th, 2009, and in the rush of events neither or any anyone else found out why, what happened? and a lot of people criticized roberts for not preparing adequately, so i decided to look back as a
journalist and say, you know, what happened? and there is a real story there. and the story is not the absence of preparation, quite the opposite, in fact, roberts rehearsed so many times that his wife told him at one point, at this point the dog thinks it is the president. but what happened is actually a very simple story that all of us who own a computer can appreciate. he and his top sffer prepared a pdf of the oath on how they were going to divide it up. and they -- roberts went over it very particularly and added a comma in one place and then they forwarded it to a secretary in the congressional committee that was supervising the inauguration, that secretary never opened it, never forwarded it, so obama never had a copy of that pdf, he didn't know how roberts was going to divide up the words. they had a miscommunication in the very first line, and
roberts, very uncharacteristically kind of panicked and then started messing up the words, but that is what happened. >> rose: roll the tape, here it is. >> i barac barack hussein obama, solemnly swear. >> i barack hussein obama solemnly swear. >> i will execute the office to the office of the president united states faithfully. >> that i will execute. >> faithfully the -- the office -- >> the office the united states faithfully. >> and will to the best of my ability. >> and will to the best of my ability. >> preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. >> so help you god. >> so help me god. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> rose: the problem. >> the problem was the phrase do so legally swear, because obama .. jumped in after barack hussein obama, i do not had said
solemnly swear would be in that first stanza, but .. obama didn't know that so they were off kilter from the very beginning and then you saw roberts really just sort of lost his place. >> rose: and had a bit of -- there was some worry that the new president was not officially the new president? >> well, that is the next day story. of course in the -- all the excitement of the inaugural balls, no one thought much about it, the next morning, a young lawyer in the office of legal counsel, harvard law professor on leave named david barohn starting looking into this and he said, you know, this is potentially a problem here, because we live in an age and here is where, you know, it relates to the larger story, where justices like anthony scalia and clarence thomas, they call themselves texture list, they believe in the letter of the law and they may say if the oath is not executed exactly
right, there might be some defect with it, and david barohn suggested to david craig the first white house counsel, maybe you ought to redo it, and by 7:30 that night, john roberts had come back and he did come to the white house and they re-did it flawlessly. >> rose: the story is in part that you write in this book, the obama white house and the supreme court, is barack obama and john roberts. >> it is indeed, seven teeth chief justice, 44th president, in some respects have a lot in common, both came of age in the chicago area, both products of hear extraordinary law school and the hear extraordinary law review, but both of them -- and both of them real students of the constitution. but that is where the similarities end, because roberts coming from his very conservative background, very stable background, is a true conservative, and he believes that the constitution needs to change. the irony here is that one of them believes in change, and one
of them really believes in stability, and it is roberts the one that wants change and obama is -- >> rose: what obama believes in is politics and that politics is where laws should be made and not the supreme court. >> that's right. and that stay real difference from a lot of civil rights pioneers. you know, the thurgood marshalls, they used the court system for social change. >> rose: because they could not affect the political process the same way. >> and they felt that that was the only way to get, say, the voting rights that you could to affect policy -- >> rose: instead of going the to the court and say, change. >> correct. and conservatives feel, you know, that the courts are an avenue for change, and something i wrote in this book, an underrated figure in recent history is edwin piece piece, he was briefly the foreign general but he brought with him, the idea that look liberals have brought meese, an agenda for change to the courts for years, we need our own conservative
agenda and the federal society was founded and reagan nominated a lot of young conservatives to the court, and those ideas about expanding executive power and limiting affirmative action and above all, trying to outlaw abortion, those remain the core republican principles to this day. >> rose: you also argue in this case that john roberts .. because of his role as a litigator, as a litigator, you know, he had at the time of his own coming of age a sense of process. >> he is -- justices, they have a lot in common but never different,. >> ruth bader ginsburg is the thurgood marshalls of the women's right movement and defines her as a lawyer and as a justice, john roberts was a corporate litigator and john roberts for the most part, in his help think and very distinguished career at the bar was someone who represented corporations, who were sued by
individuals. in those cases .. he learned to try to get individuals thrown out of court in every possible way, whether it was through dock trims like standing. >> rose: right. >> or statute of limitations, and it was -- this is -- >> rose: this doesn't apply to my client, ts doesn't apply to my client. >> that's right. that my client should not be brought, should not be tried on the merits, because there is a procedural defect with the case brought against him. he was enormously successful and that, even more than the sort of high profile abortions and civil rights types of case it is really a signature of the roberts court that individuals have a very tough time in front of these justices. >> rose: so what does scalia and people like that think of the notion of the conservatives being activists?. well they would deny it. what they say is, no, no, we are not activists, we are just restoring the constitution to the way it should have been all along. >> rose: change by restoring. >> exactly. we want to go back to what the
framers intended or scalia and thomas call themselves original lists they want the original understanding of the constitution .. and they have been very successful, particularly in an area like gun control where they say, they have a special understanding of what the second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms means, they have now succeeded in pe persuading a majority of e supreme court that that is what it means and their view is, we are not activists. we are merely restoring the constitution to the way it should have been all along. >> rose: i want to talk about two cases. one healthcare reform, on the one hand and also united on another. is a fascinating story i never knew about it came out of a question, one question in one piece of litigation. well citizens united, i mean it is really in many respect it is core of the oath but it started as a very bizarre and obscure
case, where this group called citizens united, a conservative, relatively small political nonprofit organization in washington made a documentary about hillary clinton during 2008 or in the period leading up to 2008 campaign, the sec said it is a commercial and under the mccain feingold law cannot be broadcast 30 days before an election. >> rose: campaign reform. >> campaign finance reform. that case was argued the first time towards the -- in 2008. it was defended. the mccain feingold law was defended by solicitor-general's office which always defend it is constitutionality of laws in a very distinguished lawyer by the name of malcolm stewart was defending the law and samuel alito who has this incredible radar for asking really good, tough questions that are, at oral argument he asked a
question that said in effect well you are banning proposing to ban a documentary, do you think you could ban a book? and malcolm stewart said, yes, i think we can ban a book and in the courtroom, there was a sort of hush. ban a book? are you kidding now there is a long debate that has gone on whether malcolm stewart did the right thing or not, i happen to think it was not the right answer but it transformed the case, and the conservatives said, look, we have got to drive a dagger through this law, because of the risk to free speech and because of reasons i tell in the story they reargue the case months later, the new solicitor-general named elaina kagan argued it and tried to save it but by that point the conservatives were really out to get the mccain feingold law and they wound up killing it, most of it. >> rose: but the point here is that it became a argument for
being able to spend a whole lot of money on political campaigns. >> right. at the heart of citizens united is a metaphor, which is, spending money is equivalent to speech, spending money is like carrying a sign or giving a speech, that if you interfere with spending an individual or even a corporation spending money, it is like telling them that you can't speak. now, that is contrary to decades of supreme court precedent. it is true that there is -- are elements of speech to spending money but th the court has said, you know, the i it can be relatd the way speech can sometimes be regulated, and what justice kennedy's opinion in citizens united did is say essentially no, it can't be regulated, so, you know, a lot of people ask well citizens united is it going to be reined in, no, it won't be reined in, it is going to be expanded it is the beginning of the deregular regulation of
campaigns and not the end and that is what is so significant about it. >> rose: moving to healthcare tell us what happened. >> what happened was .. john roberts saw the healthcare case as the third in a trilogy of cases. the first was bush v gore in 2000, then citizens united in 2010, then healthcare. cases where it looked like five republican justices were going to savage a dream of democrats in a way regardinged by many as highly partisan. coming out of the oral argument it hooked like that was going to happen again, that here was this law, congress had had free rein to regulate in the economic sphere for decades. >> rose: under the commerce clause. >> under the commerce clause but again a very concerted effort by conservatives using very much to their credit the power of ideas, started making the argument that this was too much under the commerce clause, but it was really a novel argument, and
this court has not invalidated an economic regulation since the 30s. and roberts almost went over to the other side. in part, i think he was -- the other conservatives, scalia, thomas, kennedy and alito, they over played their hand because they said we are not going to strike down the individual mandate, we are going to throw the whole law out. >> rose: and the debate going into this, whether they would declare it an individual mandate unconstitutional and say the rest of the legislation was constitutional, whether they would declare it all constitutional or all unconstitutional. >> that's right. and that -- the conservatives basically challenged roberts all or nothing, and roberts said, i can't do this, so he came up with this argument. >> rose: is it because -- >> i can't do this -- well again, you have to take what they say at face value to a certain extent he said because i think it is a valid exercise of congress's power to tax but i also think there was another dimension, is it was that roberts as chief justice was concerned about the institutional reputation of the supreme court, that the court
had to be seen as a relatively neutral arbiter. >> rose: because it lost some of that in bush v gore. >> in b very gore and citizens united and this would have been would have thrown the court in the middle of this presidential campaign, in the summer leading up to the elections, and i think roberts just didn't want to do that too the court, especially in the case where the argument was so marginal, to. >> rose: to prove the case he was concerned about the court, what would be the first piece of evidence to make that point? >> the opinion itself. >> rose: okay. >> then the reporting is? >> talking to justices and their law clerks. >> rose: okay. the law clerks. >> well, no, not only. >> rose: but the justices, members of the court have said i think he did this because he was acting in what he believed to be the interest of the court. >> absolutely. >> rose: he thought the court -- >> out of -- that. >> rose:. >> that the court was becoming, seen as a political body, rather than a judicial body, you know,
look there is always a fine to nonexistent line between law and politics and the justices all know that, but when you come to decisions like bush v gore, like citizens united and potentially like this case, the line was so evanescent and the division on the court so obvious, remember look at the change on the supreme court, who were the last three justices to leave? o'connor, stevens, souter, all moderate republicans, their like are not seen on the supreme court anymore just like they are not seen in the united states congress anymore. this is a court like this is a country, polarized between democrats and republicans. if the that is just a fact about the supreme court and it makes the justices uncomfortable, especially the chief justice and that is in part why he did what he did. >> rose: does kennedy command the sense he is the new sandra day o'connor or not. >> he. >> kennedy is a mercurial
figure, some refer to him as a moderate, that is a mistake, he is actually an extreme mist in his views in many areas he just happens to have unusual preoccupations that are not necessarily consistent with detrimentally and republican politics. for example, he is the court's leading spokesman on the issue of at a rights and the author of the two most important gay rights decisions and relatively liberal on the subject of the death penalty, but on the vast majority of other subject like the civil procedures stuff we were talking about, well national security he decided with the liberals occasionally, certainly civil rights, certainly the healthcare case, he has been. >> rose: predictable vote on healthcare? >> no. >> sterltly a lot of the arguments were pitched to him, that people thought he was the swing vote and we were all looking in the wrong place. >> rose: john roberts he has the possibilities of being a great justice? >> oh, absolutely. >> rose: a great chief.
>> a great chief. >> rose: because he has time or because of something else? >> well because he has time and he has -- i mean, look, this is a brilliant writer, the justices vary in their ability with the written word, you know, justice david suitor used to joke when he got a really eloquent draft from one of his clerks, oh, time to put the lead in, justice suitor was not a beautiful writer, john reports roberts john roberts is a beautiful, beautiful writer and he is clear in his thinking. now, great chief justices are justices who move the law. earl warren was a great chief justice because he dragged the south kicking and screaming into the 20th century and said we cannot have segregation in this country anymore. john marshal was a great chief justice because he said, you know, his opinion set up the structure separation of powers, judicial review, john roberts can be a great chief justice. >> rose: so how does chief justice renquist feel about chief, chief just roberts feel
about chief just rehnquist who he clerked for? >> he is very respectful of him, but there is a sense among rehnquist fans that he kind of ran out of energy at the end that the conservative agenda. >> rose: rehnquist did? >> rehnquist did and the energy on the court was really much more with justice o'connor, o'connor was really running that court in the last decade or so, and that rehnquist didn't push as hard or as effectively as he could have. roberts will certainly not make that mistake, and at the age, you know, he is not even close to 60 years old yet, he has got plenty of time and energy to push the court but again if obama somehow gets three appointments it doesn't matter how effective is as a spokesman he will no longer command a majority, someone that makes a great use is based on who their colleagues are. >> rose: what is the most brilliant mind on the court
today? >> john roberts, definitely john robert, oh, yeah. >> rose: what if i had a vote of the nine would he get -- of the 9, would he get nine votes? >> first of all you have to tell me is it a secret ballot? you know, let me think. i think, i bet he would, i bet he would he is a respected figure. >> suppose there is a secret ballot and asked them about the different judges and their abilities. what would be surprising that they might say? >> how influential clarence thomas is. >> rose: that's exactly what i thought. what would they say? >> they would say clarence thomas is someone who set his goal as a justice to bring ideas to the court that no one else would and to have the patience and the determination overtime to see those ideas develop a majority, two examples, gun control, you know, he is -- he
in the nineties brought the idea, he wrote it in a concurring opinion, that second amendment gives individuals a right to keep and bearing arms, a theory of the first amendment that -- of the second amendment that had been rejected by judges for decades. he was the one who brought that and -- to the court, ultimately vindicated in the heller case which justice scalia wrote. citizens united draws on ideas that clarence thomas brought to the supreme court. the original list, whatever you think about them .. they have ideas that they have pushed in the public, in the academy, in court, and liberals have not been as successful, and i think the irony as i point out there is they are pushing the idea the constitution is dead, but there by they have proved just how much it lives. >> the oath, the obama white house and the supreme court, jeffrey tubin best selling author of the nine, back in a
moment, stay with us. >> rose: karen elliott house is here and pulitzer prize winning journalist from a publisher the wall street journal many years she has observed the culture and politics of saudi arabia and the entire region, her new book takes us inside the country for a look at the many fowrseses forces that shapes its place in the fast changing arab world, it is called "on saudi arabia" and i am pleased to have her on this program. we have been friend for, friends for many, many, many years, and in the beginning when i first not into journalism and wanted to know and understand the middle east she was one of the places that i turned. so i am pleased to have you here. >> you are kind. >> rose: what is happening, how do you mark and observe the arab spring and what is going to happen with that royal family in the face of the arab spring? >> to me that is the most intriguing question about saudi arabia and wrote come out after 30 years of going there and five
years intensively of reporting this book, i don't come out optimistic about the longevity of that family for several reasons. one, the old brothers the crown passed from one brother to the other since their father died in 1953. >> the sons of abdul aziz. >> he had 44 sons and daughters don't count. >> yes, but, you know, there are ten or 12 of them still alive but the youngest is 67, 68, so at some point they are going to have to shift to the next generation. >> rose: the succession set? >> no, not at all, and so they are now much like the old soviet union they are going from one old lead fore the next, who is fundamentally the .. tooled and
weak and tired. >> to changed? >> to have the emergency to work very much and certainly not to change anything. so i think the country has roblems, all of these problems of unemployment, wealth distribution, housing, poverty in a country that has got that much money. and those are not going to get better without some real younger energetic leadership and i don't -- they have trouble getting to that point. >> rose: okay. but do those people you talk to to and you have access to the royal family in writing this book, recognize that? >> some of them do, yes. >> rose: challenge that reality? >> yes some of them do, the grandsons talk about it and some of the sons talk about it, but it is a society where age is the
governing factor, so they go from one brother to the next, passing over only those that the family deems not capable of ruling, because that is the way they can stay united, and making that jump to a grandson of one of those sons and leaving all of the others out worries each branch of the family that my family is going to get left out. >> how much of their survival so far has been the fact that they, number one, knew how to divide their enemies and number 2, knew how to use the massive amount of money they had to buy off any challenge to their authority? >> >> there are three things they do to survive, and you just listed two of them, one is to exploit the divisions in the country between regions and sects and tribes, and the second you mentioned is spreading money across all problems to try to
calm people. >> when the arab spring arose they spent a lot of money, billions and billions of dollars to make sure that -- >> yes. >> $130 billion, 85 percent of the annual budget in addition. >> and where did it go that 85 billion. >> it went to the religious and went to the military and went to the young, it went to create a minimum wage for saudis which they had never had, but it was slathered across the entire society. and of course what you give is hard to take, so now the country has to continue that spending but before we talk about that the third thing is religion. the way they have used and politicized religion to retain control, that we, our legit ma city rests on promoting and propagating the one true faith. >> and that played in saudi arabia? >> yes.
but that pillar of religion is also weakening, because as the family has used the religious to support what they want to do politically, whether it is bring american troops in the nineties or opening university with men and women mixing in it, which is against their version of islam, and the religious go along with it, they are undermining their credibility in the country. >> rose: we forget sometimes that osama bin laden was a saudi, you know, and osama bin laden was angriest most at saudi arabia. >> at the royal family. >> rose: at the royal family because they allowed americans to come in and defend it when saddam hussein had over run kuwait. >> when he said my guys can do this, you know, my -- >> rose: osama bin laden said we can take care of this because we got rid of the afghanistans. >> we went to afghanistan and will do it for you. >> rose: and after that? so why was there, on 9/11, 16 saudis? on those planes?
>> because the saudis are the propagate fors of wahabi islam which teaches that .. you must -- it is okay indeed as the requirement to confront and destroy infidels, that you either convertor you -- it is all right to get rid of you. and that philosophy, which they allowed to grow in the eighties after the iran revolution, the king got scared oh, my god we will have this kind of problem here we ought to wrap ourselves tight never religion so let the religious establishment basically do whatever it wanted. >> rose: and after 9/11 and after saudi arabia faced the challenge of terrorism against itself, did they change? >> yes, they began to advocate a
kinder, gentler islam when those people started, it was one thing when they attacked the world trade center in 2001, the minister of interior said that was just a jewish conspiracy, after those same people started blowing up things in riyadh and jeddah, the royal family realized, i think that it had made a fundamental error so they began to fire some of the worst fanatical religious people and try to preach a kinder gentler -- >> rose: because the argument was made as you well know and it is documented that out of some saudi foundations came support for terrorist activities and even for some of the people supporting some of the people involved in 9/11. >> uh-huh. >> rose: and have they cut those ties under u, u.s. pressure. >> not to the total satisfaction of the u.s., but they clearly have made an effort, but as
saudis will tell you, in a country where men walk around in those white robes with huge pockets and those pockets have rolls of saudi riyals in them, their currency, you can't control who passes money to whom so the government has made an effort clearly, but it hasn't been 100 percent and it hasn't certainly, it certainly hasn't been 100 percent successful. >> rose: do they worry the united states may be approaching a time when they are not dependent on oil from saudi arabia? >> they worry, they worry about everything. but, yes, they worry that the u.s. may not be reliable, that we are not willing enough to confront the iranians on their nuclear program, though the saudis i am sure would be the first to criticize us if we struck iran. >> rose: that would be
publicly. >> yeah, but privately, they say dab. >> rose: israelis even. >> they say you have to do something. >> rose: let me get the point clear, saudi arabia and other countries in the middle east would be pleased if someone stopped the iranians, someone from getting nuclear weapons? >> the sawed kiss, saudis certainly would, most of them i think .. >> how would you characterize the relationship today with the obama administration? >> the bloom is certainly off the rose. people in 2008, in saudi arabia when he was elected were almost universally happy, i mean, i happened to be there on one occasion when he was speaking on tv and one of the, you know, 40-year-old guys started to weep, you know, that look in america, you can elect someone like that, and, you know, we can't elect anybody here, but people were really enthusiastic about him, and now, you know --
>> rose: they believe it was more rhetoric than deed. >> now they believe it is almost entire i are rhetoric and he hasn't done anything in their mind to solve the palestinian issue, he hasn't done anything to stop iranian nuclear weapons and threw mubarek under the bus and may throw us under the bus so there is not a lot of, not a lot of love, as prince saud the foreign minister likes to say this used to be a catholic marriage and now it is a muslim marriage, they have several wives, china, the u.s. and we are not wife number one, necessarily anymore. >> rose: there is also the argument that tom friedman and others have made if in fact you look at countries that are rich in natural resources like they are rich in oil, what you find is that they have pot developed the kind of government nance and the kind of system both entrepreneurial as well as responsible to its populace .. that might have served them better. >> oil for them, i think, has been a curse for the population.
it has been a blessing for the royal family family's longevity and power, but it is a society that is totally dependent and that is the way the royal family wants it. they want you to depend on them for access to a hospital, for a job, for anything you want, and people are very frustrated and fed up with that. partly because they don't get as much as they think they deserve. >> rose: fed up with a number of foreign workers that are in saudi arabia? >> people complain about that, but saudis don't really want to do that menial labor that most of the, the construction, the street sweeping, the garbage collecting,, you know, a lot of the stuff that the foreign workers are doing, maid service, driving, saudis will drive a taxi or will drive a car. >> rose: as long as they are not a woman. >> as long as they are not a woman but mostly they don't want
to do that median work so they are happy, they hope all of this generation of, you know, 50,000 plus saudis who are in universities in the u.s. now will come back and take the white-collar foreign jobs but it is -- it is not nearly as buying an issue as you think it is and it is not unlike here, people complain of immigrants here but we don't really have many people lining up to clean houses and sweep streets and serve food in restaurants. >> rose: our mayor bloomberg would argue they are also entrepreneurial and a lot of immigrants come here and create businesses and do a lot of interesting things that add to the economy, they first serve their own friends and then serve others. and there are also women, is it changing? the attitude towards women or is it -- if it is changing is it anything more than minimally? >> it is changing very slowly, i mean, women are so much better educated now, 508, 60 percent of
the university graduates are women. .. but they can't, they are not really allowed to work at much, and these educated women are using the koran on the religious to justify having a role, but it is very, very slow, but there are increasing numbers of women who dare to stand up, i mean, one young woman got a lot of publicity, she was thrown out or the religious police, these gays that go around enforcing strict wahabi religious rules, told her to leave a mall because she was wearing red nail polish and she told them you can't harass me, took out her cellphone and put whole thing on youtube, i mean that is a revolution that young people in saudi arabia know now, they know what is going on in their country, and they know what is going on outside of
their country, so the government which controls most of the newspapers and tv no longer have a lock on information. and that will ultimately change things, i think. >> rose: on saudi arabia, karen elliott house, it is people, its past and its religion, fault lines and future, thank you. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time.